National leader, Ijaw Monitoring Group (IMG) Comrade Joseph Evah has urged Nigerian politicians to emulate the politics of the late first civilian governor of Lagos State, Alhaji Lateef Kayode Jakande, if the country must move forward.
Also, the activist lauded the sterling qualities that stood out the late statesman as a visionary leader, disclosing that over twenty thousand (20, 000) Niger Delta professionals who are now located within the country and abroad benefitted from the education policies of his administration in the ’80s.
Evah said the late statesman was an epitome of honesty, dedication and selflessness, who used his position for the service of all.
Speaking exclusively to Daily Sun, he said that the Niger Delta people would remain grateful to Jakande for the quality education he offered his people that were living in Lagos then as well as accommodation through his housing estate scheme.
Said Evah “We the people of Niger Delta will remain ever grateful to him. He was a man of great foresight and insight. When Jakande clocked 80, the Niger Delta people went to give him an award. We gave him the award because his free education policy of 1980/81 benefitted our people immensely.
“Today, we have produced over 20, 000 professionals. All the Riverine areas of Lagos and all the areas where people who were, supposedly poor lived, not the Ikoyi-type people, the indigent people, like those that were living in Ajegunle, Kirikiri, Ajangbadi, Epe, Badagry, etc, Jakande concentrated primary and secondary schools in all these areas for the common people to be educated and to be empowered.
“And because Lagos was federal capital territory before, the highest concentration of Niger Delta people outside our homeland was Lagos and Jakande free education in that early 80s has produced over 20, 000 professionals of Niger Delta citizens all over the world. We are grateful to God for the good life of this patriotic citizen. His politics was unbiased; it was not concentrated to only the Yoruba but equally distributed to all non-Yorubas that resided in Lagos.
“Jakande will remain one of the best public office holders in the political history of Nigeria based on his exemplary leadership style. We need more of the Jakande’s to save Nigeria. if Nigeria must move forward, we must have politicians that have the type of spirit and vision of Jakande who believed in one Nigeria, not by mouth but he was sincere, he was practical about it.
“So we, the people of Niger Delta we feel his exit from this earth and we pray God that Nigerian politicians of this generation will learn from his life and times. Nigeria is hopeless today because our politicians of today don’t want to copy or emulate the life of people like Jakande. No more Jakande’s in this present dispensation and that is worrisome. May the great soul of Jakande popularly referred to as “Baba Kekere” rest in perfect peace”.
The late Jakande attained giant strides in the area of education as well as housing among other numerous achievements.
He died in the early hours of Thursday at the age of 91 and was the governor between 1979 and 1983.